Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Upfront Answers, NBC


Last week, I asked "Upfront Questions" to preview each network's fall 2014 schedule. With the schedule now official, here are the "Upfront Answers"!

NBC's upfront previews: True Power Rankings | Upfront Questions

Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | CW



MONDAY

Fall 2014 Schedule
8-10 p.m. — “The Voice
10-11 p.m. — “The Blacklist” / “STATE OF AFFAIRS” (beginning Nov. 17)

My Question: Which drama gets the best slot on the network?

During the strongest part of The Voice's season, it's... the same one that had it all of last season. It's a move seemingly designed to keep The Blacklist away from CBS' Thursday Night Football (even if it will still face ESPN's Monday Night Football). And when it does head off to try to save NBC's biggest trouble night, it'll do so just four days after a post-Super Bowl airing.

At this point, The Blacklist may be more worth servicing than even the network's #1 new drama, and that's clearly the idea here. But it should be noted that it's not a very good deal for said #1 new drama. It catches the tail end of The Voice's season, which can be up to 25% weaker than the early weeks, and it then runs into holidays and a Voice hiatus after being on the air for about a month.



TUESDAY

Fall 2014 Schedule
8-9 p.m. — “The Voice
9-9:30 p.m. — “MARRY ME”
9:30-10 p.m. — “About a Boy
10-11 p.m. — “Chicago Fire

My Question: How dedicated is NBC to getting comedies sampled?

Still pretty dedicated! Not only does a comedy block get The Voice as a lead-in, but it also scores the somewhat respectable The Biggest Loser lead-in on Thursday. As a fan of the abstraction that is "comedy," I like that. But the bottom line is this won't be worth it unless Marry Me becomes something more worthwhile than About a Boy or Go On.



WEDNESDAY

Fall 2014 Schedule
8-9 p.m. — “THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA”
9-10 p.m. — “Law & Order: SVU
10-11 p.m. — “Chicago PD

My Question: Will NBC mess with modest Wednesday success again?

Not really. SVU and PD were a classic "good not great" pairing, and that should continue in 2014-15. I said that the only way to improve 8/7c was with a slightly off-kilter drama, and The Mysteries of Laura would appear to fit that bill. Still, even maintaining Revolution numbers would be a win, and it could bomb pretty hard. The good news is that this hour is relatively low-stakes, much like Thursday 8/7c is for ABC; even if the 8/7c show is a disaster, the 9/8c show should be OK.



THURSDAY

Fall 2014 Schedule
8-9 p.m. — “The Biggest Loser
9-9:30 p.m. — “BAD JUDGE” (“The Blacklist” beginning Feb. 5)
9:30-10 p.m. — “A TO Z”
10-11 p.m. — “Parenthood” (ed. note: Allegiance joins at midseason)

My Question: Will NBC be scared away from making a real effort on Thursday?

Yes, but only while football is in town. I'd rather see The Biggest Loser held for the February 5 schedule, giving The Blacklist the stablest support possible. Bad Judge and A to Z feel like place-holders whose chances won't be drastically improved with that lead-in, and The Blacklist will probably end up getting some comedy hour in the winter.



FRIDAY

Fall 2014 Schedule
8-9 p.m. — “Dateline
9-10 p.m. — “Grimm
10-11 p.m. — “CONSTANTINE”

My Question: How much money does NBC want to spend on a Grimm lead-out?

They want to spend a "full" amount of money, meaning it would seem we'll have to judge Constantine in this slot by "normal" standards, not by the Dracula/Hannibal co-production ones. They'll expect improvement here. But it's a compatible pairing, so bring it on.



SUNDAY

Fall 2014 Schedule
7-8:20 p.m. — “Football Night in America
8:20-11:30 p.m. — "Sunday Night Football

My Question: Can NBC make Sunday in the spring more of an event than Believe and Crisis did?

All we really know is that The Bible follow-up A.D. will be on this night starting on Easter, which likely already puts it ahead of Believe and Crisis.



GENERAL IMPRESSIONS

In the press release, Jennifer Salke says, "Comedy is very important to this network," and she ain't kidding. Comedies didn't have to go in the second post-Voice slot. The Biggest Loser won't be much of a lead-in on Thursday, but it's definitely a better deal than they could have gotten. If Marry Me settles in the About a Boy "face-saving" range and Bad Judge / A to Z are classic NBC megabombs, they'll probably not feel too good about these shows of faith. But it says something that they at least have the confidence to try.

Otherwise, this went pretty much how it appeared to be headed, with the exception of NBC's fall plan for The Blacklist. It's a much better deal for the show than throwing it on Thursday in September would've been... and given what that show may end up with lead-in and competition-wise on Thursday, scheduling the episodes more strategically seems smart. Something else to note with respect to competition: even if ABC does end up with Scandal in this 9/8c hour, The Blacklist is likely to premiere during its hiatus. Dueling with wild cards on CBS/Fox, plus something filler-y like The Taste on ABC seems very manageable.

37 comments:

Spot said...

Scheduling - grade D.
Schedule itself looks better than grade D (and that's consequence of NBC finally having some renewable dramas), but scheduling itself is pretty bad. I mean, considering there were so few things they could miss, yet they managed to miss on almost every account. Plus, the fall schedule is exactly the same one they had this spring, just the names of shows are different. Comedies are in same slots, only there's new set of dunzos. And there's TBL instead of HGN, Laura instead of Revolution, Constantine instead of Hannibal. Bold, imaginative, borderline visionary, I must say. Anyway, point being they're not addressing what didn't work this spring. Instead, they're all about some spectacular (yet unnecessary) moves with what works (The Blacklist), and what has a best shot to work (State of Affairs). It looks like their goal was to make schedule that would be most discussed about, and not the one that would produce best ratings. After all, media likes shiny objects.

Spot addressed some of following points. Some I agree with him, some not. I could edit some points, and put just "I agree with Spot". But I'm too lazy for it. Sorry.

Minuses (big)
1. Wasting The Voice lead-in on lousy rated comedies, instead using it to help one (or both) Chicago shows.

2. Moving The Blacklist to Thursday. They're deliberately turning their sole scripted hit into just a mediocre rated drama. If both Grey's and Battle Creek are slotted Thu 9 PM, I call high 1s for Thursday TB airings, and me laughing hard when it regularly finishes third in its timeslot.

Minuses (small)
1. It should be Allegience in fall, and Parenthood on the bench. That way they would eliminate possibility of scenario ABC had at Tue 10 PM this season, putting one after another midseason flop in that timeslot. If NBC would have reliable Parenthood on the bench, it couldn't happen. As it is, they're going to use all Parenthood episodes early, and then in midseason they could face string of flops at Thu 10 PM. I kinda hope that happens, as they would learn valuable lesson.

But Allegience would be 7th new show, and 4th new drama in fall schedule, it looks a bit too ambitious. That's because it's more consequence of other errors they made in scheduling, than it is standalone mistake. They want TB on Thursday (mistake), and they want to move it there in February, so Allegience gets premiere in midseason (mistake caused by other mistake) to provide it better lead-in. They surely don't want to waste TB lead-in on Parenthood (correct).

2. Why not synchronize TBL premiere with The Blacklist move to Thursday? If they're afraid of Thursday Night Football, so The Blacklist moves there only in February, why then not wait with The Biggest Loser until February too? It would be better lead-in to TB than whatever else they have.

3. Late November premiere for State of Affairs means muck weaker The Voice lead-in than one it would get in September.

4. Not really a minus, more something surprising and disappointing to me is... Tina Fey produced comedy is not on fall schedule, some "broad" comedies are instead. Probably they just want to pair it with compatible Parks.

Pluses (all small):
1. SVU remains in tough Wed 10 PM. No need to experiment there, they nicely spotted it.
2. SVU and CPD pairing is compatible. When The Blacklist is not on Wednesday where it should be, then this is best they could come up with.
3. Good pick for Mon 10 PM, unlike most of their new dramas, State of Affairs looks like something broad audience could embrace.
4. Constantine looks compatible with Grimm.

Spot said...

Opposite of Silvio I guess

Grade A-

I think they handled the Blacklist the best way possible. Not having any of the old comedies leading off the night and using their realties are comedy lead ins is great. The Wednesday 8 o'clock hour could have been handled better. The Constantine/Grimm pairing is great. I think they might use the Apprentice to bridge Voice hiatuses.

Spot said...

I don't get The Blacklist dodging TNF. It's already been up against MNF in the fall, and will still be up against MNF in the fall. I get that TNF will get bigger audiences on CBS than on NFL Network, but it's also taking out a CBS comedy block - I actually think Thursday 9/8c is an *easier* slot now that TNF is involved.

The single best bit of this schedule? Only two comedy hours in the fall! NBC might be saying they're committed to comedy, but actions speak louder than words. They've even given the second block a midseason replacement, a lá Mob Doctor! Personally, I think if they were going to do that they should've gone for final seasons of Parks/Community and waved their hands in the air, ready to give some newbies a February launch with some heavy SB promotion (and maybe a post-SB premiere?!?).

I like TBL leading off Thursday - that's good counterprogramming to both TNF and TBBT. It might even be worth putting another cycle in the spring, probably with HGN providing a hiatus. Wednesday staying put makes sense.

A schedule that's arguable either way.

Spot said...

Good insight from Silvio, an expansion from when he quoted me.

Grade: B- (can be A- if Voice and TBL comedies get sampled), can drop to D if Blacklist underperforms on thursdays, all comedies tank and State of Affairs ends being the saving grace).


- Blacklist getting sampled on mondays for 8-9 weeks is a pro, Blacklist taking a 2-month break is a con.


- State of Affairs scheduling is a con created by a pro.


- NBC addressing its need of comedies by placing it after Voice and TBL is a pro, would I like NBC to reduce to one hour or go 100% drama? Yes. Would they do it? No, their situation is similar to ABC's before ABC comedy wednesday, one way or another they need to get rid of the comedy hell.


- Mysteries of Laura is a con, could turn into a pro but it does not seem like a self-starter to me, throw two comedies (something you lack) or throw a drama (something you have plenty of) under the bus?


- I'm neutral about 10 PM hour, clearly a surrender hour, Allegiance on fall means 4 new dramas, on midseason means a Blacklist lead-in, but its success it directly related to the previous one.


- Friday schedule is a pro, but Constantine chances are not that great, it's not a co-production.

Chances of renewal (newbies):
State of Affairs > Marry Me > Bad Judge > Constantine > A to Z > Mysteries of Laura

Chances of renewal (veterans):

Chicago Fire > Blacklist (bigger question is not wether will be renewed or not, but how it is going to perform) > Chicago PD = Grimm > SVU > About a Boy

Spot said...

Apparently it's possible the Shonda shows will take hiatus in December/January rather than January/February (which they may have only done this year because of the Olympics). So that part of the Blacklist picture is not as clear as I made it out to be. Blacklist vs. Shonda spring premiere on Feb. 5 would be quite the showdown...

Spot said...

Not gonna lie. Really disappointed in this schedule that many seem to like. It combines my least two favorite things about modern scheduling: moving shows in-season and late-fall debuts.


Monday: It really says something about how NBC feels about Blacklist's strength that they still want it to stay in The Voice's slipstream. I know, I know. The Super Bowl lead-in could help also, but as we've seen with Elementary, New Girl and Nine-Nine in the past couple years, maybe not. They are completely throwing State of Affairs under the bus. The only November debut that made it last season was Mike and Molly, and that's just because it's a marginal show headed for syndication. Grade: D+ (fall) C (spring) Total: C-


Tuesday: What happened? I thought they learned their lesson the last two years! Chicago Fire will likely be OK, but this was a chance to give one of their new serialized dramas a leg-up in a time slot that has weakened significantly the past few years. Failing that, Mysteries of Laura would have been a good procedural choice. This just feels like a redux of last spring. Even going back to Biggest Loser/TV/CF would have been better. Grade: C


Wednesday: Mysteries of Laura is in an interesting slot. I do have a concern over how graphic the content will be for that hour and the balance between the home life drama and procedural cop drama. Another issue is having what looks like three procedurals in a row. Maybe that's fine for CBS, where people expect that, but it feels like it could be a little off-brand. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. Chicago PD may get more serialized in its second season, anyways. Grade: B


Thursday: *Sigh* I don't like surrender nights, but I like this one less, simply because it feels more half-assed. What exactly are A to Z and Bad Judge, two shows that seem to have very little in common supposed to do with each other? Bad Judge and Mysteries of Laura seem to be tonally similar with the whole work/life dramedy...thing, but BJ and A2Z are such an odd pairing that even going against two also-rans on CBS is probably going to be enough to destroy them. I would rather they have made TBL two hours into Parenthood and matched Marry Me and A2Z on Tuesday. I still wouldn't have liked it, but that's better than this. Then, after wasting three-and-a-half months on them, they finally slide Blacklist in and follow it up with one of the serials. Why just give up on the fall like that? Grade: C (fall) B (spring) Total: B-



Friday: Fine. The trailer for Constantine is quite impressive. Comic book shows and movies are hot enough...but this is a third-tier brand, at best. It's still a great match for Grimm, and if it does well enough, possibly a replacement. Grimm's at 66 next week. One more full season of 22, and you might be able to get SyFy or TNT to bite. Not for NCIS money, mind you, but still respectable. Grade: A


Sunday: It's football. Grade: A


Final Grade: B-. To be honest, I was expecting to give it an A when I saw all the drama pick-ups. I thought that networks were catching on to comedies being on the way out again. But no, "comedy is very important." So important that half of the output is DOA as we post right now. Just...ugh.

Spot said...

It feels like a CBS schedule from a couple years ago. Comfortably standing pat. I don't think any network has the luxury of doing that now.

Spot said...

Why did I get the feeling you were gonna hate it? :3

Spot said...

NBC 2014-15 Scheduling

Good comments:

Well-rounded (compatible shows) together. More compatible than last year in some ways, particularly how Thursdays were scheduled last season.

Thursdays look set to hold up better already. Relatively Stable shows wrapped around two new comedies instead of 2 hours of comedy looks better to me.

The Bible spin-off AD looks set to boost Sundays. I'm not sure how long term of an option that is in the long term though.

Issues:

Treatment of The Blacklist -
Keeping The Blacklist in the Monday 10/9c slot from the fall - gets a stronger lead-in it doesn't need from The Voice which a new drama (State of Affairs) could really use.

It means State of Affairs goes to later on, when as mentioned The Voice will be finishing up its season with lower figures, possibly halting its reach. I'd rather have seen State of Affairs to premiere in this slot at the start of the fall - get another strong newbie out of The Voice from the off.

This slot-keep for The Blacklist is only for a little while not only pushes State of Affairs later premiere but means it itself has a slot change.

NBC are using The Blacklist as the post-SuperBowl slot; does it really need it? There's no harm in making a drama bigger but the SuperBowl boost never lasts... Just ask New Girl.

This leaves me questions on why they think a Super Bowl boost will mean people will follow it to NBC's weakest night against other big competition. I really detest the move to Thursdays; its figures are bound to drop...a lot. So while NBC are pushing its reach in the fall (by maintaining its 2013-14 slot and giving it a SuperBowl boost) these will be/are 2 pointless moves in my opinion.

Are the new dramas being given good enough support? -

Notes-
State of Affairs should still do well behind the latter half of The Voice, but as I've mentioned above, an earlier fall start would give it a stronger push.

Mysteries of Laura has no support, but compatibility wise it suits the slot, but I honestly think it'll go lower than Revolution.

Constantine goes well with Grimm, but how much of an audience can it get in its time slot? At least NBC are experimenting with no co-productions there in the fall.

Allegiance to mid-season, behind a weaker Blacklist, I'm just not sure on what it will reach. I think a fall start would've have worked better.

Grade: C+

Spot said...

Could CBS put The Big Bang Theory to Thursday 9 PM? I mean, if they would have 3 comedy blocks, with only 1 on Thursday.

Pro:
1. Drama would have less drama competition at 8 PM, obviously.
2. CBS likes to damage other networks.

Contra:
1. If TBBT goes to to Monday, then back, and then to 9 PM on top of that... it would be really too much.
2. If it will be 2 blocks on Monday, they might opt to move TBBT to Monday permanently. Not necessarily already this season.
3.
That 8PM drama would need to have their full confidence. They won't
remove TBBT from anchoring the night because of something iffy. I don't
see them having such new drama, and I don't see them moving NCIS or
similar there.

Then I think it's extremely unlikely, in fall and
midseason both. And slightly less unlikely for 2015-16. But it's fun to think about it.

Spot said...

Well, people are grading schedule, not scheduling. I'm grading scheduling.

I mean, it's near impossible to make a bad schedule with 4 hours of football, 3 hours of Voice, 2 hours of reliable The Biggest Loser + Dateline, and 5 renewed dramas (6, but I don' count Parenthood seriously). That's 14 out of 19 hours. Even monkey would make good schedule out of it.

So, of course their schedule looks good. But their scheduling decisions are plain bad. NBC didn't address any problem (except for maybe Sunday midseason). I don't want to repeat myself, I pointed out those problems in Upfront Questions. They just did some half-surrendering of Thursday in fall, with some halfass attack in midseason.

Spot said...

For your Con reasons, I seriously doubt this happens. But the cut to 3 comedy hours looks probable, meaning some other drama in the mix here. Then again, I also think it's more possible Big Bang stays on Monday permanently. There's less benefit in jerking it around to hold up a one-hour comedy lineup.

Spot said...

The Super bowl slot is best for Sophomore shows already doing well that just need that extra thing to break out. Think about Grey's Anatomy in its second season. It went from averaging a 8.5 before to 10.1 after. The initial boost of 36% would fall down to 19%, but it still got a nice boost. The Sophomore seasons of reality hits The Voice and Survivor also got a nice boost from premiering after the Superbowl. Sophomore shows with good ratings already benefit the most from the super bowl. Elementary with a freshman procedural and New Girl was a third year with little to gain.

Spot said...

I really like this scheduling for the most part.

Really Like:
- What They Are Doing with the Blacklist
- The way they're scheduling comedies
- The way they're using TBL
- Not messing with the Dick Wolf Shows
- Fridays
- Parenthood being a placeholder so that TB can also be used as launching pad for something compatible

Dislike:
- Mysteries of Laura is a very potential flop but at least I don't think it's a certain thing like last year's Ironside. I think we'll all end up saying they shoud have kept Revolution there and not mess with the night at all ,but for now I can't really blame them for trying, even though I don't like what the offer is.
- State of Affairs treatament. I had already commented on what Spot also commented, which is the fact that the show will have 4 or so Voice airings + holidays + at least 1 month hiatus + Voice Again. It will be very hard to build momentum unless they have a good plan for Mondays in January.
- Relating with the previous point, it would seem that they intend to bring the voice back in the first week of february. While I am against them bringing it back late march like last year, early february is too soon. It gives us 1.5 months in-between seasons, barely any time-off. I adore the voice, but as a viewer, I need some time beween seasons. They will burn it to the ground with an hiatus as little as that.

Overall, except for my third dislike, I think the likes are far and beyond bigger than the likes. A lot hinges on what they will schedule for Mondays and Tuesday in January (and February maybe?) and Thursdays once TBL ends. But so far I am pretty happy. A very solid A-.

Spot said...

I would also add that The Blacklist will be returning from an hiatus so if the only thing that the Super bowl does is to make sure that people who were watching it on Mondays are aware that it's coming back and that it will be on Thusdays, that's already a big win, even if no new viewers are attracted. Plus, a two part thing could likely work very well to attract new viewers.

Spot said...

Yes, agreed.
It's again problem of anchors. Had CBS developed replacements for HIMYD
and TAAHM, they would leave TBBT on Thursday even with drama at 9 PM.
Two new anchors would do the trick on Monday. And it's academic, then (with 3 anchors) they probably would go for 4 blocks.
But they didn't develop any anchors, so they will put TBBT on night with 2 comedy blocks. it's only question if this season already, or in 2015-16. And if it will be Monday or Thursday - not important, though Monday sounds more logical if TNF is here to stay.

Spot said...

Nah, it was just suggested by a Twitter buddy of mine who has some vague ABC connections. Don't think he knows for sure, but he thinks ABC would prefer it because it would allow them to air in all of the sweeps periods. I agree it'd be kinda weird to have a 9-episode fall arc and a 13 to 15-episode winter/spring.

Spot said...

The Sweeps argument is kind of powerful though. It would also allow them to avoid the thanksgiving break. But the arcs would be really unbalanced. Also, I assume it would only work for the Thursday shows, the Sunday shows should not come back that early; they are better off coming back after the Oscars and launching something new by then (either the Resurreection return if it's not on the fall or the new thing if Resurrection is on the fall).

Spot said...

That was my attempt at humor (which failed), since I know you're the negative guy.

Spot said...

What concerns me is that the closest comparable show to The Blacklist is season 2 of Glee, which also was returning from a 2 month hiatus only saw a 5% boost from the previous episode and even the episode before that one.

Spot said...

I understood you're just kidding.
I'm sorry for being too resigned, too serious, some would even say negative in my answer. Sorry, really.

Spot said...

In this case, even a 0% change would be a big win considering it's coming from a post-voice timeslot!

Spot said...

Hey, nothing wrong with being a pessimist. I don't really agree with having a harsh outlook because I always look at the bright side, but I don't want to stop the way you think.

Spot said...

No, not that, it's OK to be pessimist.

I meant, you said something in a light tone. And I answered in serious tone, despite *knowing* you was just making a joke. That's not fair from me. Sorry, once again.

Spot said...

I think it's an okay schedule.

They have the right idea keeping as many shows as they can where they are and only premiering 5 new shows in the fall. Networks typically try to do too much.

Putting comedy behind The Voice on Tuesday is necessary for them to gain any traction.

Putting The Blacklist after The Voice feels like a waste, and yanking it
off the air for four months seems completely crazy to me. Thursday 9pm seems
like the right move, though.

Premiering a drama at 8pm Wednesday feels somewhat unnecessary, especially since it doesn't feel like the type of show that can self-start.

I'm not sure about the Thursday schedule. I think it could seriously hurt TBL and leave the comedies to die. 9pm Thursday is where NBC should aim to put their comedies once they're established


The actual shows, well... that's another matter entirely. I'll check out Marry Me and Constantine. I really wish NBC had put Ellie Kemper's show on in fall (and not given it such a painful name).

Spot said...

"The Blacklist was getting ratings comparable with GA, if not lower"


It's apples and oranges - comparing a show at 10pm airing out of schedule fodder versus a 9pm show preceding Scandal. I'm quite keen to see what a 9pm vs 10pm boost Blacklist will get (although it will be impossible to break down the cause because so many factors at play...)

Spot said...

I think I read somewhere that State of Affairs doesn't have a show runner right now. Perhaps that is the reason for the November premiere?

I think it's a solid schedule as long as The a Voice holds up.

I'm one of the few people who would have been fine with Blacklist staying after The Voice all season long. It's so hard to find hits, potentially compatible shows... why play with fire when you don't have to?

I just can't imagine the execs at NBC giving Blacklist a leadin of Parks and Rec, but I guess that's the plan.

Every night appears pretty solid and at least competitive enough, and I guess that's all you can ask for. B+

Spot said...

It is quite opposite. With this schedule, NBC is putting in disadvantage shows that will be there in a few years.
1. Unlike Chicago Fire, Chicago PD didn't get help from The Voice in its critical second season.
2. They're throwing The Blacklist on toughest Thursday to be a self-starter (lead-in something like Parks & Recreation or Hollywood Game Night) instead of first making it stronger on easier Wednesday night.
3. They're giving Chicago Fire again very weak lead-in. About a Boy is no stronger than Growing Up Fisher, it only had luck to be direct lead-out of The Voice.
4. They're pushing their only promising newbie to November.

They're hurting their shows with long term prospect. Meanwhile, they're nurturing shows that will be soon canceled. They're wasting superstrong Voice lead-in and strong TBL lead-in on those clearly DOA comedies. Over/under on how many out of those 4 sitcoms are still going to be around comes March? 0.5. To be more specific, Marry Me might. Just might.

This schedule is actually harming their multi-year chances. Instead of helping shows that stand a chance, NBC is putting their hopes in some lucky punch from: bland sitcoms, adaptation of Spanish ripoff of Murder She Wrote, and zillionth DC Comics show on broadcast (too late to the party). Well, good luck with it.

Spot said...

The whole preceding Scandal thing doesn't see to be an actual effect considering the ratings for these final episodes sans Scandal are pretty much the same as with Scandal. This being said, I do agree that the 10pm effect is probably strong.

Spot said...

Agreed! If The Blacklist can take it's mid 2s to low 3s ratings to Thursdays, it will be a big success.

Spot said...

Best Move: Attempting to firm up Thursdays with The Biggest Loser.

Worst Move: Throwing State of Affairs under the bus with its scheduling.

Other Thoughts: It's clear that NBC feels that The Blacklist is their crown jewel both by its scheduling and the post-Super Bowl slot (it feels guaranteed that NBC will attempt to breeze through the post-Game blather to start Blacklist as close to 10:30 as possible). But not only does State of Affairs then have a rough road, but Bad Judge and A to Z have to overachieve to fill the 8:00 hour once The Biggest Loser ends its cycle. Even then, only one of those shows is going to win since Parks & Recreation is waiting in the wings.

Blacklist's scheduling also sends a disconcerting, different message: it's not that far off from being a Revolution or a Smash. So they want to pave as easy of an road as they possible can. It makes this whole schedule feel like a placeholder for the line-up they really want.

I do at least give NBC credit for giving their sitcoms the best lead-in support they could with The Voice and The Biggest Loser. And going big on Friday is at least eyebrow-raising. Finally, does anyone else dislike the title "The Mysteries of Laura" as much as I do?

Grade: C-

Spot said...

I feel like this is a good schedule, but could've been better. I don't like this late start for State of Affairs and The Blacklist being throw at the wolves on the hardest night of the week, even considering it will get the post-SB slot before it finally moves.

What I'd have done:

Monday:
8 The Voice
10 State of Affairs

Tuesday:
8 The Voice
9 Bad Judge / NEW COMEDY
10 Chicago Fire

Wednesday:
8 The Mysteries of Laura
9 The Blacklist
10 Chicago PD

Thursday:
8 The Biggest Loser
9 Marry Me / A to Z
10 Law & Order: SVU

Friday:
8 Dateline
9 Grimm
10 Constantine

Somewhat similar to the actual schedule, but solving a few issues already pointed by other commenters:

Monday - State of Affairs get bigger exposure out of the best Voice airings early on.
Tuesday - About a Boy should've been saved for spackle at best. They have more promising pilots on hold. Chicago Fire is already stable and Tuesday is really their best night to launch a succesful new comedy, so... why waste a slot?
Wednesday - The Blacklist goes into another night... but faces a lot less competition against weakening veterans like Criminal Minds and Modern Family instead of the Shonda shows and what will probably be the most-promising CBS new drama. Chicago PD is also nurtured into something bigger, just like Chicago Fire was during this season. The Mysteries of Laura sounds like a flop, but the drama competition is very light on that slot. Maybe it's worth a try.
Thursday - The Biggest Loser leads into female-centric comedies that then lead into Law & Order: SVU, an old and expensive show that should be used to fix a really problematic slot, such as this one. It also has always done better at 10 pm, so...
Friday - This is good to go, IMO. :)

Parenthood (only 10 episodes to get it to 100) and About a Boy both to be scheduled come midseason. Depending on the Fall results, they can plan to schedule Sunday - and possibly revamp Thursday - more aggressively, as they will have some hot properties to do that (like A.D. or Heroes: Reborn).

Spot said...

This is fairly boring -- same-slot veterans and 4 new shows that will tank.

Spot said...

If the show doesn't have anyone running it, then why not wait until January-February when people are actually expecting new shows?

Spot said...

If the Blacklist can maintain its 2.43 average it had without the Voice on Thursdays it will be a big success.

Spot said...

Well, rest assured, history has not repeated itself!

Spot said...

Just saw ABC schedule. Here's what I would have done.

Monday:

8-10: DWTS
10: American Crime

Tuesday:

8: SHIELD
9: Forever/Agent Carter
10: Castle


Wednesday:

8: The Middle
8:30: The Goldbergs
9: Modern Family
9:30: Black-ish
10: Selfie
10:30: Manhattan Love Story

Thursday:

8: Grey's Anatomy
9: Scandal
10: How to Get Away with Murder

Friday:

8: Last Man Standing
8:30: Cristela
9: Shark Tank
10: 20/20

Sunday:

7: America's Funniest Home Videos
8: Once Upon A Time
9: Secrets and Lies
10: Nashville

Spring:

7: AFV
8: Galavant/OUAT
9: Resurrection
10: Revenge

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